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Thread: Hi Everyone - New here.

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    Hi Everyone - New here.

    I used to work on pools right out of high school so I'm not a true newbie. I've built pools (obviously as a laborer rather than a plasterer) and done a lot of work on them in regards to plumbing, acid washing, etc.

    All that said, I've never actually had to maintain my own pool up until 3 months ago when I bought a house. The following represents a timeline of my experience with the pool:

    Pool cover had major holes in it so it was basically filled with a 1" thick pile of "stuff"
    Took the cover off and threw it away
    Filled the pool with new water and started the filter. (in hindsight - fully draining and scooping out the "stuff" would have probably been better
    Spent a week of backwashing 2X a day and running filter 24/7 and scooping out leaves
    Couldn't get the water to clear up so I dosed a boatload of Alum and vaccummed to waste - problem solved!
    Kept trying to get the FC levels up through dosing granular cholorine and overloading a floating pool dispenser with 3" tabs (still couldn't get it to budge)
    Spent a week cursing Gackels (a native bird that deposits it's babies poop in the pool to keep predators away)
    Spent a day installing a plastic owl and monofilament above the pool to solve Gackel problem.
    Just when I thought the pool was doing well - Green Algae rears it's ugly head.

    So - since I had an algae problem I went to the shock method. I bought the 1lb 65% chlorine bags and proceeded to put 2 of them in to the pool.
    My filtration system is on a timer and running about 8 hours a day (I had completely forgotten this so my "run the pumps for 24 hours" phase of the shock process didn't work).
    Crappy dip strip test still shows zero for FC.
    Threw in 2 more lbs of shock and retested - still zero....

    And that's when I started looking for a little help. Based on some reading here, it would appear that CYA is an important factor that I knew nothing about... Pretty facinating reading learning about how a higher CYA can cause you to have to use higher levels of shock to be effective.

    So that said dip strip shows 0 FC - 4 TC - TA/PH/CAL all in relatively sweet zones....

    25000 gallons of pool water...all of which is still cloudy and green as of this morning. And yes, I brushed the pool after the first dose and yesterday's dose.

    What would you suggest?
    33ft / 48" AG - 1.5HP 70GPM - Haywood sand filter - approx 3 years old.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    There is a lot of knowledge on this site. Someone will be along shortly to help you and welcome to TFP.
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    You really need a good test but for right now take a sample to the local pool store and have them test for as many things as they can.

    In the mean time you need to read Defeating Algae. That'll get you started. You also need to use Liquid Chlorine to shock. And remember, shock is a process not a product!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Echoing what Bama said, you do need a good, service type test kit that is drop based. A TF-100 from TF Test Kits (link in sig line) is a great value and tests for everything you need which is FC, CC, pH, CYA, TA, and CH.

    We will wait for you to come back and post the test results from the pool store and then go from there. Don't buy any chemicals from them. Just test your water and post back.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Ok - so I read the Defeating Algae thing already... Good info. Seems like I'm on the right track, I just need to actually get my FC levels up high enough. You said you need to use Liquid Chlorine to shock. Why is that? Is there something wrong with dry form Chlorine?
    33ft / 48" AG - 1.5HP 70GPM - Haywood sand filter - approx 3 years old.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    There are three common kinds of powdered "shock": dichlor, cal-hypo, and lithium-hypo. Dichlor adds CYA really rapidly. As the CYA level comes up you have to raise the FC level to get the same effect you would have at a lower CYA level. You get into a nasty cycle of raising CYA, which means adding more chlorine, which raises CYA even further. Cal-hypo adds calcium. This is not as bad as dichlor, but eventually the calcium level gets too high and you are at risk for calcium scaling. Lithium-hypo is just fine, but it is wildly expensive. Liquid chlorine, aka bleach, doesn't have any of these problems. It is inexpensive and does not add either CYA or calcium.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    The tablets are too slow to dissolve and add CYA which can build up over time and cause overstabilization. The granular forms such as dichlor (adds CYA) and calcium hypochlorite (adds calcium) can also add things you don't need and excessive quantities of these extras can cause problems. Liquid chlorine sources such as bleach or concentrated sodium hypochlorite only add what you need, a chlorine source, water, and a little bit of salt. It's a more effective solution in the end with no harmful additives.

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    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesurq

    Based on some reading here, it would appear that CYA is an important factor that I knew nothing about... Pretty facinating reading learning about how a higher CYA can cause you to have to use higher levels of shock to be effective.
    This right here is the secret the pool store doesn't want you to discover.

    Welcome to TFP.

    You are in good hands.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
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    http://www.tftestkits.net TFT100 test kit

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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Very helpful information folks. Thank you so much.

    So assuming that I've effectively raised my CYA now to high levels and I plan on purchasing fragrance free chlorine bleach in 6% concentration in 96 oz bottles and my pool is 25000 gallons, how many bottles should I add?
    33ft / 48" AG - 1.5HP 70GPM - Haywood sand filter - approx 3 years old.

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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    AHA, the often asked question that has no definite answer. You will find that as your other numbers change, as the temperature changes, as the amount of sunlight hitting your pool changes, so does the amount of liquid choline necessary to keep you in the 'sweet zone'. My water temp is currently hovering around 60 degrees and a 182 ounce bottle is lasting me about 3 days. In the heat of the summer, with water temps nearing 90 degrees, it will take about 3/4 a bottle every day. Use the pool calculator, it is an invaluable tool in this process.

    Welcome to TFP!
    Matt
    20,000 gallon, sand filter, IG vinyl

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesurq
    Very helpful information folks. Thank you so much.

    So assuming that I've effectively raised my CYA now to high levels and I plan on purchasing fragrance free chlorine bleach in 6% concentration in 96 oz bottles and my pool is 25000 gallons, how many bottles should I add?
    In order to know how much bleach to add, we would need to know the CYA level. The proper target FC varies dependent on what the CYA is. This chart explains that relationship.

    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Hi jamesurq,

    You have gotten great information

    When you post a full set of water test numbers, we can get the show on the road.

    The best investment we made in our pool was getting a good test kit.
    I recommend the TF100, link in my sig. Best bang for the buck and will put you in control of your pool.

    It will help if you add your pool and equipment specs in your sig.
    Go to User Control Panel (top, left, under TFP Logo) Select Profile, then Edit Sig.

    Have you found Jason's Pool Calculator yet? You can start playing with it and check it out.
    It is an amazing tool to help with chemical dosing. Link in my sig & in Pool School.

    We have a wonderful group of folks ready to help you turn your swamp into a sparkling oasis.

    Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Thanks folks. I'm going to head over to the pool store and have them test CYA since after 8 - 182oz bleach bottles I STILL can't get a readable FC level... My CYA must be through the roof!

    Again, thanks for everything. I'll definitely grab a good test kit.
    33ft / 48" AG - 1.5HP 70GPM - Haywood sand filter - approx 3 years old.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesurq
    Thanks folks. I'm going to head over to the pool store and have them test CYA since after 8 - 182oz bleach bottles I STILL can't get a readable FC level... My CYA must be through the roof!

    Again, thanks for everything. I'll definitely grab a good test kit.
    Conversely, since you added fresh water early on, and the pool apparently sat unattended for a long time, your CYA may be very low and you may be losing chlorine to sunlight as well as algae.

    The inability to get a FC reading could be due to algae or due to very low CYA or even due to ammonia. Since the pool is green and the TC is 4, I'll guess that you are just in need of wildly more volumes of chlorine. Best to go to regular bleach if indeed CH is in a good place.

    If you can stand to raise CH some, use the calculator to see how much CH will rise if you use Cal-Hypo to shock the pool. In my pool as I was shocking from 0 FC to 12 FC, I could use either 6 cups of Cal-Hypo 73% or 4.5 gallons of 6% bleach. The Cal-Hypo raises CH by 8, the bleach does not. I could do this 10 days in a row and only change CH by 80, so that is how I shocked last week.

    Most of the time I use bleach, but if CH is low I use Cal-Hypo. CH tends to be low in the early spring after winter rains or after I've left the water refilling the pool and went out for the evening. Yeah, and I did that twice last month. Can't wait to see the water bill this time.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    Just got back from the pool store.

    Here's the scoop:

    pH - 7.3
    CYA - 70
    Total Chlorine - 1.0
    Free Chlorine - 0.0
    Alk - 70
    TDS - 800
    Calcium 150

    Based on this, and after a short discussion about why not using bleach is the best plan (since it adds a lot of salt to the water)... it was determined that 5 gallons of 6% bleach would get me to where I need to be.

    Added about 6 gallons and FINALLY! I have measurable FC levels....
    33ft / 48" AG - 1.5HP 70GPM - Haywood sand filter - approx 3 years old.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Hi Everyone - New here.

    I'll bet the pool store didn't tell you that ALL sources of chlorine result in salt. For every 10 ppm FC from ANY source of chlorine, it will result in 8 ppm salt because when the chlorine gets used up it becomes chloride (salt). It is true that for bleach, chlorinating liquid, and lithium hypochlorite, they add an additional 8 ppm salt upon addition, so they end up with twice as much salt -- for every 10 ppm FC they result in 16 ppm salt.

    However, salt is rather innocuous and not a problem until it gets to rather high levels, especially compared to CYA from stabilized chlorine or CH from Cal-Hypo. At 2 ppm FC per day chlorine usage, after 6 months of bleach use the salt will increase by just under 600 ppm. If you were to use Trichlor tabs/pucks, the salt would increase by half that amount or around 300 ppm, but the CYA would increase by over 200 ppm. If you were to use Cal-Hypo, the salt would increase by around 400 ppm, but the Calcium Hardness (CH) would increase by over 250 ppm.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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